208 Duecento Otto has been going strong for over a year and it has created a winning recipe for its solid Italian food and classy atmosphere that's neither too stuffy nor too casual. Drinks in the ground floor patio area are a good way to start off the evening's proceedings provided it isn't too hot. A round of drinks help to cool off and to tempt the taste buds a salumi board featuring thinly sliced parma ham, salami, and mortadella with pistachio accompanied with olives and chopped cherry tomatoes.
We then proceeded upstairs to the more formal dining room, the walls adorned with blue and white Chinoiserie tiling. At the top of the stairs is the pizza oven that was brought in from Naples, complete with firewood from the Italian city.
We also had a small plate of fresh buffalo mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar and slices of heirloom tomatoes underneath.
It came with a large bowl of arugula salad lightly dressed with small slices parmesan cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.
If that wasn't enough food, we had to try some desserts. The Venchi chocolate pudding is the molten chocolate cake served in a ramekin and comes with a small portion of rhubarb compte and vanilla ice cream that is totally decadent and hits the spot.
For a slightly lighter finish, there's a selection of homemade gelato and sorbet to sample. The pistachio flavour is fantastic with a slightly creamy flavour, while the lemon sorbet has a nice tartness to round off a big meal.
And if you need that extra umpf for digestion, have a glass of grappa or limoncello to help you process the meal in a very Italian way.
208 Duecento Otto
208 Hollywood Road